Despite the fact that freshman Andrew Tate is in his first season of high school swimming, he is excelling in the two longest distance races.
Tate is ranked in the top 10 in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle events in Division III of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.
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“I’m really happy with the way Andrew has progressed this season,” Scorpions head coach A. Jay Bronson said. “We’re still shooting for a few more time drops and trying to get top five at state in his individual events. He’s been a great addition to the relays and I’m excited to see where we finish off.”
Tate has swum year-round for the Sedona Swordfish. The bigger high school team meant he could finally be a part of relay teams.
“I was expecting more of a team sport than an individual-orientated swim,” Tate said. “Normally when I’m doing [club swimming] we don’t have enough people in our select age group to do relays.”
Tate has always been a distance swimmer; at the club level he also swims the 800- and 1,000-yard freestyles.
Bronson has been his coach with the Swordfish, and now has him handing out tough workouts year round.
“He’s a great coach. I never get sick of him, I just hope he doesn’t get sick of me.”
His top times came at the Saturday Night Fever meet in Chandler on Sept. 30. He finished the 200 freestyle in 1:55.26, and in the 500-yard freestyle in 5:11.79.
He swam both events at the Heisley/Estes Cup, the rivalry meet with Mingus, on Tuesday, Oct. 17. Tate won the 500 freestyle and took second in the 200 freestyle.
His times were a bit slower than his season bests.
“I’m not happy and I’m not unhappy. Right now I feel like they’re pounding me into the ground so that I’ll drop time later on at a qualifier,” said Tate, who is in his seventh year of competitive swimming.
The state meet is slated for Nov. 3 and 4 at Phoenix Country Day School.